Full Name: Zooey Claire Deschanel
Birth Date: January 17, 1980
Birth Place: Los Angeles, California, USA
Height: 5' 6"
Quote: "I love old music, old movies, screwball comedies, vintage clothes, and basically I'm an old-fashioned gal."
Zooey Claire Deschanel was born on January 17, 1980, in Los Angeles, California. Her name was inspired by the male character in legendary author J.D. Salinger's classic novel, Franny and Zooey. Zooey had the good fortune of being born into a showbiz family; her father Caleb is an Oscar-nominated cinematographer, and her mother Mary Jo is an accomplished actress.
It didn't take long for young Zooey to settle on a career. Even though she could barely speak at the tender age of 2, she proclaimed to her family that she wanted to be an actress. As a high school student, Zooey started to take her childhood ambition from dream to reality.
Because of her father's job, she spent a great deal of time traveling to different parts of the globe. After graduating from Crossroads School for Arts and Sciences in suburban Los Angeles, she moved on to Northwestern University. She originally planned to get a degree in theater from the well-respected institution, but dropped out during her first year when her film career started going places.
Zooey performed in stage productions before making her first TV appearance in 1998, as "Elena" on an episode of Veronica's Closet. In 1999, she made her silver screen debut in Lawrence Kasdan's Mumford, as a client of a small-town psychologist. The following year, Zooey portrayed the flight attendant sister of lead character William Miller in Almost Famous, working alongside real-life high school classmate Kate Hudson. In 2002, Zooey could be seen in comedies like Big Trouble and The New Guy, as well as the critically acclaimed The Good Girl, starring Jennifer Aniston, and the flop Abandon, starring Katie Holmes. She also made an appearance on NBC's Frasier, as Roz's cousin.
In 2003, she really got noticed for her work in the breakout hit, Elf. Even Zooey said she didn't expect the flick to be as popular as it was, despite her fine performance as a department store elf who is also the apple of Will Ferrell's eye. Around the time of Elf's release, Zooey heard that a screen test was being held for The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. Apparently, she was the only one among the filmmakers and cast who had actually read the book. Zooey says she read it when she was about 10 years old, and consulted the book again to prepare for the screen test.
We'll be seeing a lot more of Zooey Deschanel in the years to come: she's set to star in 2005's Winter Passing and 2006's Failure to Launch, Live Free or Die and Flakes. She will also be lending her voice to "Lani" in 2007's Surf's Up.
Zooey Deschanel Filmography
Gospel According to Janis (2008) .... Janis Joplin
Barry Munday (2007) .... Jennifer
Surf's Up (2007) .... Lani (voice)
The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford (2007) .... Dorothy Evans
-- aka The Assassination of Jesse James
Flakes (2007) .... Miss Pussy Katz
Bridge to Terabithia (2007) .... Ms. Edmonds
The Go-Getter (2007) .... Kate
The Good Life (2007) .... Frances
"Weeds" .... Kat (3 episodes, 2006)
Live Free or Die (2006) .... Cheryl
Failure to Launch (2006) .... Kit
Once Upon a Mattress (2005) (TV) .... Lady Larken
Winter Passing (2005) .... Reese Holden
"American Dad!" .... Kim - French Maid/Candy Striper Stripper (voice) (1 episode: "Stan Knows Best" 2005)
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (2005) .... Trillian
Eulogy (2004) .... Kate Collins
"Cracking Up" .... Heidi (1 episode: "Birds Do It " 2004)
Elf (2003) .... Jovie
House Hunting (2003) .... Christy
It's Better to Be Wanted for Murder Than Not to Be Wanted at All (2003) .... Gas Station Girl
-- aka Wanted
All the Real Girls (2003) .... Noel
Whatever We Do (2003) .... Nikki
"Frasier" .... Jen Doyle (1 episode: "Kissing Cousin" 2002)
Abandon (2002) .... Samantha Harper
Sweet Friggin' Daisies (2002) .... Zelda
The New Guy (2002) .... Nora
Big Trouble (2002) .... Jenny Herk
The Good Girl (2002) .... Cheryl
Manic (2001) .... Tracy
Almost Famous (2000) .... Anita Miller
-- aka Untitled: Almost Famous the Bootleg Cut
Mumford (1999) .... Nessa Watkins
"Veronica's Closet" .... Elena (1 episode: "Veronica's Fun and Pirates Are Crazy" 1998)
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